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Union Facts

Communications Workers of America

Indictments

Office of Labor-Management Enforcement

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) conducts both civil and criminal investigations of alleged violations of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and related laws.

These investigations by OLMS District Offices involve issues such as embezzlements of union funds, union officer elections, the filing of required reports by unions and others with OLMS, and the imposition of trusteeships over subordinate unions by a parent body. These investigations may result in legal enforcement actions.

DateDescription
February 16th, 2016On February 16, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Karen McJimpson, former Executive Vice President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4004 (located in Detroit, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of failure to maintain union records, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 439(a). An information filed on that date charging McJimpson with one count of failure to maintain union records superseded a one-count indictment filed on August 18, 2015, which charged McJimpson with embezzling approximately $19,000 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.
October 30th, 2015On October 30, 2015, in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Hood River, Bonita Scherling, former Secretary-Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7970 (located in Hood River, Ore.), was indicted on one count of Theft in the 1st Degree, one count of Forgery in the 1st Degree, and two counts of Identity Theft, all Class C Felonies in violation of ORS 164.055, ORS 165.013, and ORS 165.800, respectively. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office.
August 18th, 2015On August 18, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Karen McJimpson, former Executive Vice President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4004 (located in Detroit, Mich.), was charged in a one-count indictment with embezzling approximately $19,000 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.
August 16th, 2013On August 16, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Illinois Central Division, Melissa Gustafson, former bookkeeper for International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers - Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) Local 84110 (located in Moline, Ill. and Davenport, Iowa), pled guilty to one count of embezzling approximately $12,059 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). On January 16, 2013, Gustafson was indicted for the same charge. The sentencing is scheduled for December 13, 2013. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
June 28th, 2013On June 28, 2013, in the United States District Court Central District of Illinois, Natasha J. Bever, former Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4202 (located in Rantoul, Ill.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $117,378, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). On January 10, 2012, Bever was indicted on the same charge. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.
January 16th, 2013On January 16, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Melissa A. Gustafson, former bookkeeper for International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers - Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) Local 84110 (located in Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Ill.), was charged with embezzling $12,059.37 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.
March 29th, 2012On March 29, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Tammy Greene, former Financial Secretary for the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 83793 (located in Selma, Ala.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement totaling $31,076.07, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.
January 10th, 2012On January 10, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Urbana Division, Natasha J. Bever, former Treasurer of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4202 (located in Rantoul, Ill.), was indicted on one count of issuing unauthorized payroll checks to herself in the amount of approximately $117,378, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.
August 3rd, 2009On August 3, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Michael R. Rhoades, former Secretary Treasurer of the Communications Workers Local 88667 (located in Latrobe, Pa.), pled guilty to embezzling union funds. On August 12, 2008, Rhoades was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $8,001.86 between June 2006 and November 2006. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.
April 15th, 2009On April 15, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Belinda K. Woods, former President of Communications Workers Local 84-415 (located in Grand Rapids, Mich.), was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $10,988.86 and one count of falsifying union records. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
April 3rd, 2009On April 3, 2009, in the 61st District Court of Kent County, Michigan, Kevin Welch, former Financial Secretary of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 84-415 (located in Grand Rapids, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement from a non-profit/charitable organization between $250 and $1,000. On March 4, 2009, Welch was indicted on one count of embezzlement from a non-profit/charitable organization between $1,000 and $20,000. The plea and charge follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
August 12th, 2008On August 12, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Michael R. Rhoades, former Secretary-Treasurer of CWA Local 88667 (located in Latrobe, Pa.), was charged in a one count indictment with embezzling union funds in the amount of $8,001.86. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.
October 12th, 2007On October 12, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Denise Nichols, former Financial Secretary-Treasurer of CWA Local 4050 in Detroit, Michigan, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $3,804.20. On August 31, 2007, Nichols was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
August 31st, 2007On August 31, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Denise M. Nichols, former Secretary-Treasurer of CWA Local 4050, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $3,804.20 and two counts of false records. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
June 28th, 2006On June 28, 2006, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Judy Cary, former Secretary for CWA Local 6127 was arrested and charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of approximately $29,000. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.
April 13th, 2006On April 13, 2006, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Andrea Stack, former Business Manager of IUE-CWA Local 1199, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds totaling approximately $19,361. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.
March 20th, 2006On March 20, 2006, in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Beverly Jackson, former Executive Vice President of Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 7901, pled guilty to a superseding information charging her with one count of concealing and withholding records required to be maintained by a labor organization. Jackson was then sentenced to five months of home confinement and five years probation and was ordered to pay restitution to the union in the amount of $33,457.65. On November 23, 2004, Jackson was indicted on three counts of embezzling union funds totaling $33,457.65. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
March 14th, 2006On March 14, 2006, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Tina Buracker, former President of Communications Workers of America Local 82174, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds. On October 5, 2005, Buracker was indicted for embezzling union funds totaling $54,679.38. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
October 5th, 2005On October 5, 2005, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Tina Buracker, former President of Communications Workers of America Local 82174, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds totaling $54,679. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
November 23rd, 2004On November 23, 2004, in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Beverly Jackson, former executive vice president of Local 7901, Communications Workers, was indicted on three counts of embezzlement totaling $33,457.65. The indictment alleges that Jackson was "double paid" by both the union and her employer, Qwest Corporation, for time she spent performing union activities. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
November 12th, 2003On November 12, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Ana Lorena Phillips, former secretary-treasurer for Communications Workers of America Local 3974, was sentenced to five months imprisonment followed by five months of home confinement and three years of supervised probation. Additionally, Phillips was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $51,678.79. On May 13, 2003, Phillips pled guilty to two counts of a five count indictment charging her with embezzlement and making false entries in union records. The guilty plea and sentence follow an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.
September 15th, 2003On September 15, 2003, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Efrain C. Tulier, former secretary and treasurer of the Communications Workers of America Local 2185, pled guilty to one count of embezzlement. The plea was based on the indictment amount of $13,467. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
July 17th, 2003On July 17, 2003, Michael Knisley, former Secretary-Treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 14766, entered into a settlement agreement with the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, prosecution was deferred for 18 months from the date the settlement agreement was signed. Knisley was indicted for embezzling $4,490 in union funds, and causing false statements and reports. Knisley previously made restitution in the amount of $214.80. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Knisley agreed to pay $237.51 for 18 months totaling $4,275.20. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.
July 19th, 2002On July 19, 2002, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Mary Dolores Anderson, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers Local 9417, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds and agreed to make full restitution of up to $89,422.58. She had been indicted on September 28, 2000, following an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco District Office.
June 26th, 2002On June 26, 2002, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Efrain Tulier, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers Local 2185, was indicted on one count of embezzling $13,467 in union funds. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.
October 31st, 2001On October 31, 2001, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Bobby Putnam, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers Local 14708, was charged in a 40-count indictment with embezzling union funds and making false entries in union records. The charges were brought following an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.